A former member of Justin Trudeau’s safety staff may have leaked the prime minister’s schedule, in keeping with an intelligence doc tabled earlier than the inquiry investigating the federal authorities’s use of the Emergencies Act final winter.
An Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) “individual of curiosity” profile citing the RCMP says a former RCMP officer is “believed to have leaked the prime minister’s schedule a couple of months in the past.” The doc is dated January 30, 2022.
The doc mentioned the particular person — whose identify is redacted — resigned from the RCMP in 2021 in response to the federal authorities’s vaccine mandate for Mounties. The mandate went into impact on October 6, 2021.
The doc — once more citing the RCMP — mentioned that the person was additionally a sniper and intelligence officer. The doc didn’t point out who acquired the leaked data.
“[Redacted] has been very vocal on social media in his perception that the vaccine mandates are in violation of the Canadian Constitution,” the doc says.
The Public Order Emergency Commission inquiry is holding hearings in Ottawa to research the federal authorities’s choice to invoke the Emergencies Act to finish an anti-vaccine mandate protest that gridlocked downtown Ottawa for weeks final winter.
The profile says the previous RCMP officer is concerned with the group “Mounties For Freedom,” made up of present and former Mounties who oppose COVID-19 public well being measures.
While the person is not named, their redacted photograph is sourced from a YouTube interview with Daniel Bulford, a former RCMP officer whose skilled background and post-RCMP actions align with the profile.
In that interview, posted November 9, 2021, Bulford advised former philosophy professor Julie Ponesse that he had change into disillusioned with protecting policing — and that Trudeau’s politics contributed to his disillusionment.
“I’ll admit that I believe it made a distinction who was in workplace. I believe it did,” Bulford mentioned within the video.
“Not that I do not care about his security. It’s simply that I knew that my coronary heart wasn’t actually in it anymore and I used to be misleading to myself if I stayed in that position.”
Bulford mentioned he’d been on depart since across the time the mandate got here into impact however added that he was nonetheless technically employed by the RCMP.
The individual of curiosity profile says the RCMP officer who leaked the PM’s schedule was the “self-proclaimed ‘lead’ within the command publish for Freedom Convoy 2022.”
Bulford hasn’t responded to a request for remark from CBC News. He advised the Globe and Mail final week that he is by no means revealed delicate data or tradecraft that may be protected beneath the Security of Information Act.
The Prime Minister Protection Detail (PMPD), an RCMP unit, is tasked with protecting prime ministers and their households 24/7.
The RCMP has not responded to CBC’s questions on why it suspects a former officer leaked the schedule, when the schedule was leaked, and to whom.
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) mentioned in an e-mail that the PMO is “not in a position to touch upon safety issues.”
Trudeau has adopted quite a few notable safety measures throughout his time as prime minister. He cancelled a rally and wore a protecting vest.
Trudeau additionally had gravel thrown at him whereas boarding a bus in London, Ont final yr in the course of the federal election marketing campaign. Police charged Shane Marshall of St. Thomas, Ont. with assault with a lethal weapon in relation to that incident.
Bulford is anticipated to testify on the Emergencies Act inquiry Friday.
Leak is troubling, safety consultants say
Wesley Wark, a senior fellow on the Centre for International Governance Innovation who focuses on safety and intelligence, mentioned the alleged leak is troubling.
“The prime minister has to have belief within the RCMP protecting policing part not solely to guard him, but additionally to maintain data safe about his actions,” Wark advised CBC News.
Leaks of such delicate data additionally may have an effect on Canada’s safety repute amongst different nations, Wark mentioned.
“States are rightly involved in regards to the repute they may have for protecting secrets and techniques, and that goes to intelligence secrets and techniques, and it goes to secrets and techniques, for instance, round their potential to guard VIPs,” he mentioned.
“For a rustic like Canada that prides itself on its worldwide engagement, and numerous roles it performs within the worldwide neighborhood, it needs to have the ability to welcome, and naturally shield, heads of state, for instance, or key ministers who is perhaps visiting Ottawa or some other place in Canada, from any safety threats.”
Pierre-Yves Bourduas, a former deputy RCMP commissioner, mentioned the profile would not point out that multiple individual may have been concerned in leaking delicate data. He added the profile solely cites one potential leak that allegedly occurred months earlier than the profile was written.
“There would not appear to be latest data that [has been] acquired from the prime minister’s safety element,” Bourduas mentioned.
Bourduas mentioned it is also price noting that the profile described the person as “reportedly cooperative and forthcoming with harmonious intentions.”
But Bourduas mentioned a leak of delicate data would nonetheless be alarming — and doubtlessly dangerous for the officers answerable for protecting the prime minister.
“You’d actually have to dig deep and attempt to decide what’s the supply of that individual leak,” Bourduas mentioned.